David Brooks: Obama is ‘certainly more liberal than I thought he was’

Jeff Poor Media Reporter
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Just days before President Barack Obama was sworn into the the presidency, Washington Post columnist George Will hosted a party attended by several prominent conservative pundits — CNBC’s Larry Kudlow, Washington Post columnist Charles Krauthammer, Wall Street Journal editorial page editor Paul Gigot and New York Times columnist David Brooks, among others.

Brooks’ apparent impression after that party was that Obama was “a Burkean” — and not a strict ideologue — who understood the “organic nature of change.” Aside from perhaps admiring the crease in Obama’s pants, nearly three years to the date after that party at Will’s house, Brooks admits he had the president completely wrong.

On Thursday’s “The Laura Ingraham Show,” Brooks said he still admired Obama, but conceded the president was more liberal than he originally thought.

“Yeah, I still like him — admire him personally,” Brooks said. “He’s certainly more liberal than I thought he was. And he’s more liberal than he thinks he is. He thinks he is just slightly center-left. But when you got down to his instincts, they’re pretty left. And his problem is he can’t really act on them because it would be political disaster. And so that means, I think he is doing very little — proposing very little.”

Brooks warned that Obama has a more fundamental question to answer — how to save a country that people perceive as being in decline.

“This is a country worried about decline,” he said. “I think this whole election is about if we are in decline and that was really what you heard in Iowa. We’ve lost something as a country. That’s a pretty huge problem — you better have a pretty huge answer. And some people may not like Mitt Romney’s answer, or Rick Santorum’s answer, or Ron Paul’s answer. But they’re pretty big. They’re as big as the problem. I don’t see anything like that coming from Obama.”


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